|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
3:22-39 Judgments are prepared for such scorners as Abner; but Joab, in what he did, acted wickedly. David laid Abner's murder deeply to heart, and in many ways expressed his detestation of it. The guilt of blood brings a curse upon families: if men do not avenge it, God will. It is a sad thing to die like a fool, as they do that any way shorten their own days, and those who make no provision for another world. Who would be fond of power, when a man may have the name of it, and must be accountable for it, yet is hampered in the use of it? David ought to have done his duty, and then trusted God with the issue. Carnal policy spared Joab. The Son of David may long delay, but never fails to punish impenitent sinners. He who now reigns upon the throne of David, has a kingdom of a nobler kind. Whatever He doeth, is noticed by all his willing people, and is pleasing to them.
Verse 33. - The king lamented. The word is the same as that used in ch. 1:17. The word rendered "fool" is nabal (for which see 1 Samuel 25:25). The idea contained in the word is not that of mere silliness, but of worthlessness also; and thus in Psalm 14:1 we find that the nabal is also an atheist.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
And the king lamented over Abner,.... Delivered an elegy or funeral oration, which he had composed on this occasion, as Josephus (u) suggests: for he had cried and wept before, but now he expressed something as follows:
and said, died Abner as a fool dieth? the meaning of the interrogation is, he did not; the Targum is"did Abner die as wicked men die?''no, he did not; he did not die for any wickedness he had been guilty of; he did not die as a malefactor, whose crime has been charged and proved in open court, and sentence of condemnation pronounced on him righteously for it; but he died without anything being laid to his charge, and much less proved, and without judge or jury; he was murdered in a clandestine, insidious, and deceitful manner; so the word "fool" is often taken in Scripture for a wicked man, especially in the book of Proverbs; the Septuagint version leaves the word untranslated,"died Abner according to the death of Nabal?''no; but it could hardly be thought that David would mention the name of any particular person on such an occasion.
(u) Ut supra. (Antiqu. l. 7. c. 1. sect. 6.)
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
33, 34. the king lamented over Abner—This brief elegy is an effusion of indignation as much as of sorrow. As Abner had stabbed Asahel in open war [2Sa 2:23], Joab had not the right of the Goel. Besides, he had adopted a lawless and execrable method of obtaining satisfaction (see on 1Ki 2:5). The deed was an insult to the authority, as well as most damaging to the prospects of the king. But David's feelings and conduct on hearing of the death, together with the whole character and accompaniments of the funeral solemnity, tended not only to remove all suspicion of guilt from him, but even to turn the tide of popular opinion in his favor, and to pave the way for his reigning over all the tribes more honorably than by the treacherous negotiations of Abner.
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